Holy moly, did you know there are only seven episodes left of this season? Wait, hold on, let me do some quick math… 22 minus 15 equals 7. Yeah! There are only SEVEN episodes left, you guys!! Don't get me wrong, SO MUCH has happened on this show that it's hilarious we're only in the SECOND season. But still, seven episodes does not seem like very many, particularly with all the plot this show has laboriously set up over the last few weeks.
The main problem with last night's episode was that it was like brussels sprouts after three weeks of candy dinner. I knew it was a bad sign when the "Previously On" montage lasted like five minutes. But then throughout the episode I was trying to explain what was going on to my friend who doesn't watch the show (imagine that!) and it felt so ridiculous…
"This dude's an original vampire and he's hanging around in the town to kidnap Elena someday. Not now. Later. She's cool with it."
"This lady is the vampire doppelganger ancestor of the main chick except much less boring, and she's chillin' in this tomb because some vampire told her to."
"This guy is the main chick's uncle, but he's also her biological father and her mother is a vampire, but was human when she had her, and at one point he wanted to kill all the vampires but now he's back to team up with the vampire in the tomb, plus he wants this other dude's ring because then he can't die, but last time he wore one his fingers got all chopped off."
You know what I mean? Look, I'm totally fine with a show having an elaborate backstory, but what does this show think it is, The Wire? Absolutely nothing in this episode would have made any sense to a casual viewer. Except for the occasional stabbing, I highly doubt it would have even been entertaining at all to someone who doesn't know what's going on. But luckily we KNOW what's going on, right? I SORT OF do, but I still thought this episode was a drag. Basically all you need to know about this episode is that it involved flashbacks (ugh) and Jenna and Alaric's relationship (double ugh).
FORTUNATELY there were some scattered surprises and good times, so let's count 'em up!
We opened with a hilarious fake-out as Elena read from her great-grandfather's journal and a MALE VOICEOVER started. It was a bit of a nod to season one when the show originally had dueling voiceovers between Elena and Stefan, but also it made me laugh that it was a man's voice while Elena was reading. Speaking of which, look at how Elena was holding her pinkie finger. What a weirdo!
The flashbacks were the worst kind… They added absolutely nothing important to what we pretty much knew already. In this case, we began just after the first Mystic Falls vampire genocide and the Gilbert family was enjoying the most dimly lit, awkward turkey dinner ever.
After hearing a scuffling noise outside, Old Man Gilbert ran outside (genius move) and got out his vampire detector, which was going crazy. Okay, question: there was only one vampire out there, so was Stefan running in circles around the property at lightspeed? Just kidding, I don't care.
But yeah, it was STEFAN. I guess I mentioned that already. Now you know how I felt. It was supposed to be a shocking reveal except that we already KNEW he was a vicious vampire originally. So okay, we got to see what people had been mentioning already. Great.
Back in modern day, Stefan checked in with his older bro to get his exposition for the day.
Damon had decided that Elijah needed to die. It had something to do with his plan to sacrifice Elena. Or something.
Meanwhile Elijah and Jenna were walking around the out-of-doors and he talked more about the town history. Turns out it was founded by witches? By the way, isn't it hilarious that Jenna is so involved at the Historical Society but still has no idea about vampires or witches? How does that work? Is she just accepting a paycheck and ignoring every single piece of first-person storytelling the town has ever produced? Oh, Jenna-- A ton has happened since the show began, but Jenna becoming a fleshed-out character is not one of those things.
What was this scene all about? No idea. Alaric was jealous or something.
Over at Mystic Grill, Bonnie and Jeremy were sharing a post witch-rape meal. They looked really wiped out!
Luka showed up and he was NOT happy about waking up in a public restroom the night before. For some reason he deduced that blacking out after drinking an iced blended might have been a suspicious incident. Bonnie played it dumb, because let's face it, that's one of her strengths.
As Elena read further into her ancestor's journal, she learned more unpleasant stuff about Stefan. What was funny was that he was totally in agreement with how awful he was back then.
Back then, I guess Stefan ate tons of chicks. Anyway, this episode really busted out the floppy wigs!
It made me laugh how prudish Damon was then. What got his vampire panties all twisted in a bunch??
Let's have a super weird lunch at Mystic Grill! By the way, check out all the screen time Damon's new ladyfriend is getting. I don't hate her, so that's fine. Sort of wish she'd do something interesting on the news. Oh well.
Alaric was annoyed that Damon kept letting his girlfriend in on their plotting, plus he was super ticked about Jenna's flirtations with Elijah. That explains the Cleopatra eyes, I guess. Alaric just wanted to feel GOOD about himself, okay? Is that a crime?
When Jenna and Elijah showed up, the five of them agreed to have an awkward dinner party that night.
Elijah was like, "Aight." I mean, he knew that Damon definitely intended to murder him, but it seemed like he was just bored. Wouldn't you be?
Oh, hi Katherine! Damon roused the better version of Elena from her tomb with some fresh blood. Man, Katherine got super desiccated over the past two days! She looked like an apple-head doll!
Damon was there to pretend to save Katherine in exchange for her helping him kill Elijah. She promised, but then there was this weird lie-filled conversation in which Katherine sort of confirmed how to kill Elijah and Damon just smirked, like "Bingo," and then bounced. Katherine was NOT happy. I guess because if Elijah dies she has to stay in the tomb forever? Not sure, I need a sandwich. Hold on.
Oh hey, something cool DID happen in the flashbacks. So, Stefan was weirdly munching on a bunch of injured soldiers when he saw a cloaked figure in the woods:
Yay, Lexi came back! Lexi was a character who got killed off after one episode, but was definitely important to Stefan's life. So, cool, we got to find out just how important she was to what Stefan becomes. Now, it's not her fault that he became so wooden, but still. A for effort.
Don't you think it's so embarrassing when you bring a new friend to your pad and there's still a bunch of dead bodies in there? Ugh, tell me about it! We're not in college anymore you guys. Clean it up!
I liked when Lexi realized, "Oh, you're a ripper." I thought that was a cool delineation between murderous vampires and the ones who actually function in society. Look, I just thought that was a neat use of lingo, okay! Why are you yawning? Okay, back to Lexi. Lexi 4 President!
Girl talkin' before dinner. Could we care any less about Jenna and Alaric's relationship troubles? First of all, what ON EARTH? Was their relationship really so unsteady that Uncle John pointing out the circumstances of Alaric's wife's death would really send them into a breakup spiral? Yikes. Is Jenna nuts? You know what? Don't answer that. Thinking about Jenna one more second is a waste of all our time. We could be cleaning up beaches or something, you know?
Meanwhile the boys were in the other room prepping their Original Vampire murder weapon. Alaric wasn't thrilled about it though.
But then, DING-DONG!
Haha, this guy. Uncle John invited himself (?) to their dinner party and then wouldn't leave? Classic Uncle John move! They were just like, fine, we guess you can stay and eat our dinner. This always happens, for sure. Dinner parties are the worst.
In a slightly less sexy situation, Jeremy invited Bonnie over for a shirtless hug or two.
She expressed reservations about dating Jeremy without Elena's permission. Note to Bonnie-- Elena is BUSY right now. She has things to do. Don't worry about it, trust me. It's fine.
Elijah's main contribution to dinner was talking more about the town. Question: does he actually CARE about this town's history or has he just done way too good a job of researching it? Anyway, he talked a ton about a legendary witch burial ground somewhere in the vicinity. This probably won't come into play later this season. Don't worry about it.
Back at the cabin, the world's slowest reader (seriously, she's been reading this journal since dawn, right?) finally discovers an important chapter regarding that antique dagger. Created by witches and designed to kill an Original (using ash from a specific, long-burnt oak tree), the dagger is also cursed in that only a human can use it. Wuh-oh! Damon gon' die!
Stefan was SUPER WORRIED. Not so worried that he'd run at lightning speed to the mansion. But, y'know, leaving-a-voicemail worried.
Just as Damon was about to strike, Alaric intervened. Stefan had called him and gave HIM the deets. Stefan's a true hero.
Haha this note made me laugh. Nice use of title capitalization, teach. (p.s. did Alaric get fired?)
But then! Just when Elijah had basically admitted to everyone that he's allowed them to survive this dinner because he's got good manners, Alaric swoops in and MURDERS the guy.
I was like, "Whaaa?" Very surprising! Elijah was a great character. He will be missed.
Man, isn't it so gross when Elena hugs herself like this? She does it like every episode. Quit hugging yourself, Elena, that person doesn't deserve it!
Lexi had tons of advice for Stefan, especially that he should let himself feel emotional pain because it'll open him up to falling in love again. Very sweet/very gross. Good advice though!
So wait, wouldn't you immediately dismember and burn up a dead Original? Nah, definitely better to just dump him in the cellar and turn your back on him.
In a recurring theme of this episode, Elena's reading comprehension was terrible. She apparently forgot to read the sentence immediately below the last part, which said that you have to keep the dagger in the corpse for him to stay dead.
Whoops! Part of me was stoked, Elijah is the best! But most of me was like, haha, Elena's an idiot.
This was a VERY sensual scene, am I right? Bonnie was using all her best candle manipulation skills, but Jeremy was the one getting hot! (Double entendre).
Suddenly BOOM! Livid warlock in the living room!
It was awesome. He just grabbed Bonnie by the skull and STOLE her powers! I gotta say, I made fun of this warlock guy at first because he was just some random nobody, but I LOVE HIM so much now. First because he took down all those werewolves, now this. The witches on this show have been mostly useless, but here's a guy who ACTUALLY has powers. Did you see him slam that door on the way out? Team Warlock! Poor Bonnie, though. No more magic! Last night one of you tweeted at me that maybe she'll get her self-esteem back now? I don't know. Possibly. But I was thinking a magic-free Bonnie would look more like THIS:
You know… Happy.
Anyway, Jeremy was NOT happy about how his first date was going.
Elijah was PISSED now. Fair enough! He showed up at Elena's super brown cabin and did his favorite trick of throwing tiny items super hard at windows and doors.
But Elena had a trick up her sleeve. If Elijah didn't honor their deal, she'd KILL HERSELF. Great plan, Elena!
I agreed with Elijah here. Then this happened:
(BTW, couldn't you just watch this all day?)
And just when he agreed to honor their deal and heal her to boot, Elena fell into his arms and STABBED the dude. Wow, honestly, I did NOT see that coming. Great job, Elena! Elena did something competently, you guys. Time for a town-wide celebration or something!
More of this boring plotline.
I guess Jenna sort of called it off with Alaric.
Alaric was sad, and he finally gave his immortality ring to Uncle Gilbert in exchange for him fixing it with Jenna? Or something? Who cares, that was a dunce move, Alaric. Nobody should EVER EVER EVER give up an immortality ring, who cares if your super vanilla personality-free girlfriend picked a fight out of thin air? Ugh. Vampire hunters, am I right?
The boys had dragged Elijah's body back to the cellar again. In my opinion they should figure out a way to keep that dagger in their securely, but who am I to question their wisdom?
There was a nice moment when Stefan guilt-tripped Damon for having killed the person who's arguably had the most effect on him in his lifetime.
Damon seemed to actually understand how Stefan felt. Damon is GROWING, you guys!
One last flashback, a poignant conversation in which Lexi tries to get Damon to be there for his brother. Plus some other junk. Sad stuff though.
Lexi 4 ever!!!
Then Damon went into his AWESOME NEW BATHROOM where an unseen person was showering.
Surprise, surprise. Katherine had lied-- Elijah's death meant she could leave the tomb now.
But rather than being mad at Damon, she claimed she wants to help him. Sure, Katherine. Very believable. Very trustworthy. That's Katherine for ya.
Moral of the story: KATHERINE'S BACK!!
-Someone's going to pull that knife out of Elijah, right? -What are Katherine and John UP TO? -What will Bonnie do now? -Are you going to force yourself into a dinner party tonight?